A composer like Mussorgsky, who wrote a few fine pieces, but only one that has become really popular and famous, has, not only statistically, but also in public perception, a prominence that is really out of proportion to his real musical significance. Looking at the lists, you can see that composers like Mozart, who certainly get the performances, are probably still underrated in the public mind compared to composers who did not write hundreds upon hundreds of masterpieces, but just one or two. And poor Haydn, who also wrote hundreds of masterpieces, is even more ignored!
The most-performed living composers is an interesting list. Extracting from the graphic, they are:
- John Adams
- Mason Bates
- Jennifer Higdon
- Christopher Rouse
- Esa-Pekka Salonen
- Thomas Adès
I wonder why they only chose the top 6? In any case, the second on the list, Mason Bates, I don't think I have even heard of before. He is young, in his early 30s, and currently composer in residence with the Chicago Symphony. Checking around, I see that I have heard him before--he contributed a short piece to Hilary Hahn's encore album.
Let's see what orchestral music of his we can find on YouTube. The only one I can find is the orchestral suite "The B-Sides", here performed by The Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Octavio Mas-Arocas: